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How do you know if you own a business or a career? Find out where you fit on the entrepreneurial ladder.
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Where does this quote come from? Some sort of philanthropist or activist? Nope.

It actually comes from John D. Rockefeller, one of the richest individuals to ever exist. See, even those with incredible net worths believe this – knowing how to spend time matters way more than knowing how to make, invest, and spend money.

Business owners who want the true title of “entrepreneur” must devote themselves not only to the accumulation of money but also to the mastery of their precious time – the arguably more valuable asset.

How does one become a true entrepreneur and maximize their money and time? They climb the entrepreneurial ladder. And the higher you climb, the higher you rise above mediocrity to achieve your full potential as a business owner.

The Entrepreneurial Employee

These individuals work within a framework of familiarity and security. Many of our business coaches found themselves in this bucket at one point– likely working for a large corporation doing anything to hit that number or grow that sector.

Now don’t get me wrong – the world needs excellent employees (to take care of the customers who take care of the business, see our blog on The Great Resignation).

Eventually however, employees grow bored and restless. They make the leap towards business ownership (and sometimes fail a LOT) until they land safely and at least get their new venture up and running.

If you’ve done this, you’re one rung up the ladder.

The Self-Employed Entrepreneur

These “do-it-yourself” entrepreneurs have freed themselves from the authority of a boss. Or have they?

The title of this blog revolves around this rung of the ladder. If you’re a business owner, ask yourself that question: Do you own a business or do you own a career?

So many of the business owners we coach had or have so much drive for autonomy that they allow their business to consume them. They trade even MORE of their precious time to run every little aspect of their business – because if something moves or changes they may lose that entrepreneurial “freedom” and fail.

In almost all cases, acquiring the skills of managerial team-building, dynamic leadership, and systemization will get the self-employed entrepreneur out of this rung and moving up to the next one…

The Managerial Entrepreneur

These entrepreneurs tend to focus on systematically growing their organizations, a great first step in becoming a true entrepreneur. They begin to measure the critical numbers that drive their business forward. They then build a team and the team comes to the owner for answers.

However, they continue to trade their time for money. When a fire starts in the business, who puts it out? You, the managerial entrepreneur. If you take a vacation, will the business continue to run and make a profit? No, it needs your management.

Getting out of this rung requires bulletproof systems to keep the day-to-day operations running smoothly. Once those systems have proven to be reliable and useable by your employees, you can finally jump out of this time/money trap and move on.

The Entrepreneurial Owner

If you’ve made it to this stage, congratulations. You have created a true business – a profitable, commercial enterprise that works without you.

These owners know the blueprint to creating businesses. They can now concentrate on treating the business like a vehicle – something they drive but don’t need to constantly build and fix. Business income is also truly passive in this stage.

They’d also feel comfortable handing their business off to a general manager or franchising the business because the systems work that well.

However, one more rung remains because the entrepreneurial owner still has to drive; they still make decisions that impact the business’s direction, and they still have to determine what to do with this passive income in terms of investment.

The Entrepreneur

The entrepreneur who rises to this level enjoys many passive-income profit centers and can dedicate as much time as he or she wants to personal pursuits.

Any work is actually an endeavor that involves turning dreams into reality. Any money spent is merely a tool that can be used to serve others.

In this stage, you have unlimited time. The only time you actually spend goes towards creating opportunities for other people to buy into – selling investments.

By climbing up this ladder, you have gathered enough knowledge to invest and move your money as much as you desire.

No matter where you sit on this ladder, know that those who effectively manage time – rather than letting it manage them – will climb this ladder quickly. Use this ladder and leverage your time to evolve as an entrepreneur.

And if you want to climb the Entrepreneurial Ladder with the assistance of an expert, contact your local ActionCOACH or schedule a free business diagnostic check today.

If your goal is to progress up the Entrepreneurial Ladder with the support of an experienced mentor.

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